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Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

Or should I say – Respectful politician vs. hatemongers?

I have, in the past, lamented the fact that people cannot seem to articulate opinions without spouting generalized unfounded attacks on the people they perceive as their “opponents.” Drives me batty. If I’m going to take the time to spread my opinions around, I’ll take the time to listen to people who respectfully disagree with me. Ask my brother-in-law. We’ve spent a bit of time in the last 20 years “discussing” issues. He tells me he is becoming less political as the years go on, and I will take him at his word since I asked him to remove me from his e-mail forwards a little while ago.

Anyway, a few days ago, I saved this link to an article about Ben Stein being fired from his job at the New York Times. (http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/08/12/ben-stein-fired-by-the-new-york-times-good-work/?icid=main|main|dl4|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailyfinance.com%2F2009%2F08%2F12%2Fben-stein-fired-by-the-new-york-times-good-work%2F).

I thought at the time, “Couldn’t happen to a more deserving ass.” And here’s why.

An old high school friend of mine forwarded me some text purportedly written by Mr. Ben Stein about the health care debate that is all the rage around the US right now. I read it and was convinced the e-mail was an “urban legend.” There was no way even Ben Stein could write such crap. But I looked it up, and it seems legit. Incredible but legit. In writing about health care (you know – the legislation that is currently being written by Congress, not the President) Ben Stein really did spend most of his text ranting against the President of the United States and accusing him of ultra-leftist, racist leanings. While spending a couple of sentences to talk about health care, Stein spews forth about the myth of global warming and accusations of treason against President Obama. Really? This is how you make a point about health care? And then, people like the “American Family Association” take your hate-filled spew and forward it to each other in order to get people to call their representatives about the health care bill? Because you think President Obama is not a scholar? What? The President who didn’t write any of the multiple bills being discussed in committees the last few weeks? That’s your “educated” opinion, Mr. Ben Stein? Sounds like hate mongering to me.

I wrote back to my friend:

I don’t mind having some political stuff forwarded to me, once in a while. This kind of slander bullshit is close to criminal. I don’t like such inflammatory lies. If someone wants to talk about health care policy, fine. I’ll discuss it. I’ll listen to arguments. But even when I debated the moral, political, and human-lives cost of the Iraq war, I didn’t slander the President of the United States. Let alone bring in global warming on a health care debate. This dribble is really way out of line and it would probably be good if I stay off your list for political e-mails.

And then, I have to say, I was happy to read that Ben Stein lost one of his writing jobs because he failed to disclose information about the details of a deal he made to be a spokesperson for a sketchy business. Hatemonger.

Speaking of which, there is the on-going saga of Sarah Palin’s “press releases” on her Facebook site. Because, she’s been mostly out of sight since she resigned from her post as Governor of Alaska. Because……ethics complaints make it impossible to do your job. Ha ha. Talk to New York Congressman Charles Rangel. He deals with ethics complaints. Doesn’t quit his job. But then, I think he actually likes representing people who elected him. Oh wait, Sarah Palin quit because……she might be a lame duck leader if she announced she is not running for re-election. Ha ha. Talk to every single second-term president since the 22nd Amendment was passed. Did they all just resign the last year of their elected term? Uhhhhh……..no. ANd some of them managed to get some work done. Some of them even managed to do more than one task at a time while fulfilling their oaths of office. But that’s ok. Sarah Palin seems to think she can be more effective by having someone ghostwrite for her on her Facebook page. Facebook? Seriously? I thought Facebook was for social networking. A fun little place. And yes, even the White House has a Facebook page and releases information that way. But at least, when the White House sends out information via Facebook, we have Robert Gibbs’ daily (or regular) press briefings where he stands, live, in front of the press and (shocking!) answers questions. I’ve watched his briefings. It’s true. He answers questions. Or the White House will send out President Obama himself to hold town hall meetings and (shocking!) answer questions. The White House on Facebook doesn’t just spew words and then hide behind a curtain. Easy for Sarah Palin to do when she continues to spew inflammatory non-facts into space without answering any comments from her “fans.” Even my friends on Facebook will answer back to me when I question them on a political point they make. But not Ms. Palin. Remember – this is the woman who never silenced the angry mobs she whipped into a frenzy on the presidential campaign trail. This is the woman who laughed when political opponents were called “a cancer” and who said nothing when someone yelled out “kill him!” regarding then-candidate Obama. Hatemonger. Or, as I have explained before – Demagogy.

So, what made me think of that today? This clip of John McCain at his own town hall meeting on health care. And how he still manages to frame his debate in respectful terms. And how he still manages to try and keep his crowds respectful. He was the candidate on the trail who admonished a woman in the audience when she questioned candidate-Obama’s patriotism. And he did it again this week when another female in the audience questioned the President’s respect of the United States Constitution. McCain got booed for it by his own constituents, but he stood by his statement. And he explains, again, that there is just a fundamental difference in the views about government. As is true for many politicians. And he defends the President and asks his audience to be respectful. In all the brouhaha lately in these town hall meetings, with the escalating rhetoric and the theatrics and the name-calling and the insults (from everyone), it is so freaking refreshing to hear someone say “let’s be respectful.”

Once again, a tip of the hat to John McCain. If only he hadn’t picked the demagogue of a Governor and elevated her onto the national stage. Senator McCain is so far above and beyond that. I wish more people would take his advice and actually discuss positions and philosophy rather than promote hate and fear. But then, I bet Ben Stein (and Sarah Palin soon) makes a lot more money than Mr. McCain. Or President Obama. It’s more monetarily rewarding these days to be a hatemonger than a legislator. Score one for greed.

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